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A passion for fashion

Tryna Gordon teaches style workshops to her Brooksby neighbors

Created date

July 23rd, 2013
A colorful scarf

When Tryna Gordon gets dressed for the day, she often dons a basic pair of pants and a shirt. Most people would stop there, she says. That s just the beginning for me. Sitting inside her Brooksby apartment home, Tryna proves true to her word. Large silver and blue jewelry pieces accentuate her periwinkle-blue pants and top. The glitter in her nail polish matches bursts of color in d cor throughout her apartment. Tryna shares the secrets of her self-described funky style in a workshop at Brooksby titled Style: How to Put Yourself Together, which began as one of the community s Lifelong Learning courses. Earlier this year she taught two workshops, consisting of four two-and-a-half-hour sessions. Color, body type and makeup, clothes, and accessories comprised the four sessions. The whole point of this is to have fun, she says. The idea for the class blossomed from her love of style and desire to share her knowledge and feelings about fashion.

Aptitude for fashion

Tryna s late husband was in the apparel business, giving her exposure to style in the form of fashion shows and the like, but she says, I just have an innate aptitude for this. In her workshops, the first session on color is most important, Tryna says. I m trying to get people away from beige, because it s a beige world, she says. Beige is not safe. Tryna walks around the classroom, holding felt swatches of color up for participants to see which work best for them based on their skin tone and eye/hair color. She explains seasonal color analysis, which determines the palette of colors that fall into one of four categories: winter, summer, autumn, and spring. Tryna really provides us with a lot of really valuable information, says Norma Klobucher, who lives at Brooksby and participated in the workshop. In her session on body type and makeup, Tryna brought sample items and demonstrated how to use various cosmetics. For the clothes sessions, she invited representatives from Nordstrom and Chico s stores, who brought sample outfits that Tryna had picked out in the stores beforehand. She demonstrated the power of accessories in her last session, the most fun for students. Tryna asked students to bring a scarf with them for the discussion on scarves, belts, and jewelry. She showed the group of about 15 people how to tie a scarf. Scarves are very useful, she says.

Reinventing themselves

Norma says the workshops offered participants the encouragement to be more adventurous with their style. She encouraged us to reinvent ourselves ; that was an expression she used, and not to be bogged down to what we have seen ourselves as in the past. I have great admiration for her. Tryna is passionate about fashion, but she says beauty extends beyond the material. I want to change people s attitude about getting older, she says. They can be better; it s about more than clothes. Tryna s own attitude changed when she moved to Brooksby. She had been living in Florida when her husband died, leaving her frozen, she says. She went to Gloucester, Mass., to live with her daughter, who suggested Brooksby. It never occurred to me, Tryna says, but she soon saw the value of a move. When I got to Brooksby Village, I had a rebirth, she says. I started to draw; I started to write poetry; I feel so much better about myself. Tryna took an oil painting class 30 years ago, but her instructor told her pen and ink is your medium. She stopped producing artwork until she got to Brooksby, where she has picked up her pen for both drawings and poetry. She wrote the poem titled Gratitude for her Brooksby neighbors, which she read on the community s television station, TV919.

Enriched space

Tryna came to Brooksby three years ago with little more than a rolling suitcase. But she worked with Dot Harding of Brooksby s Custom Interiors to add personal touches to her two-bedroom apartment, including black-and-white checkered kitchen tiles. She added artwork, some of which is her own, and other contemporary d cor in red and black. I keep enriching it. Just like my wardrobe, she says. Your surroundings, your apartment should reflect your style. She continues to create poetry and artwork, while allowing her style to evolve. As I matured, my taste matured, she says. I m a much better version of myself than I ever thought I could be.